To say that Grand Theft Auto is a cultural phenomenon may be the best way to describe the immensity of the franchise Rockstar Games has on its hands. And today, via a community update, Rockstar finally confirmed what many gamers have been anticipating for a long time: that Grand Theft Auto 6 is indeed in "active development." According to Rockstar, development on the game is "well underway." It may be hard to imagine, but it's been eight years since the previous entry's initial release.
Arguably the most important open-world environment ever to grace the history of gaming, the Grand Theft Auto saga has told epic stories since 1997. Those stories, and the work of Rockstar Games to elevate them, have turned the franchise into the number five spot of most successful videogame franchises of all time. In all, around 350 million copies of GTA franchise games have sold worldwide -- always paired with strong customer and critical acclaim. And on PC alone, the game has figured on Steam's best-selling games of the year listing for six years already, including throughout 2021.
In its announcement, Rockstar does reiterate GTA 5's longevity and continued support. Additionally, in the same post that announced GTA 6, the developer confirmed that PS5 and Xbox Series S/X updates for GTA 5 would arrive on March 15.
"Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S features new graphics modes with up to 4K resolution, up to 60 frames per second, texture and draw distance upgrades, HDR options and ray-tracing, as well as offering the technical advancements of the latest console generation with faster loading times, immersive 3D audio, platform-specific features like advanced haptic feedback, and much more," wrote Rockstar.
Crucially, cross-saves will be supported, so gamers need only download the new, improved version of the game and dive straight back into their version of San Andreas. This update should appease gamers as they wait for the true next installment.
Considering its current 8-year development and Rockstar Game's adequately long development times, GTA 6 should be landing at a time where upscale technologies and ray-tracing are ubiquitous. It'd also be strange if Rockstar Games walked back on the Online component that has made GTA 5 so sustainable, so long after its release. We're just hoping that we get an official first look at GTA 6 soon.
This is the first GTA game since 3 that I'll be skipping if it's like GTAV and GTA Online. Sad, because I'd like a return to the Miami-inspired Vice City environment that is rumored.